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Africa Investment Forum 2019: Masai Ujiri urges African leaders to invest in sports, commissions two new “players”
November 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

We need to invest in sports; African talent is like gold and diamonds – Masai Ujiri
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 18, 2019/ — Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors, made his second appearance at the Africa Investment Forum, renewing his call for African governments to invest in sports.

Ujiri, the only President of National Basketball Association (NBA) of African origin in franchise history, has worked hard over the past year to scout talent and raise awareness about the success and growth of sports on the continent.

“We should be supporting teams here in Africa, that should be our vision. Sports is the next big thing in Africa,” Ujiri said, calling on investors to pay “close attention.” With all the talent in sports, there is no way it should be ignored, he said, reeling off a list of players from Africa on the Raptors team.

The sports ecosystem should be the biggest thing on our continent and has the potential to create jobs and improve livelihoods. African players are in top leagues worldwide and a former footballer is even president of an African state, Ujiri stated.

Ujiri, joined Ashish Thakkar, CEO and founder of Mara phones, and Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder of Aliethiea IDF for a panel session dubbed “Promises made, Promises kept.”

Ishmael and Thakkar were on stage to share their testimonies, while Ujiri urged investors to look at sports and showed off the NBA championship trophy which at the 2018 Forum he had promised to secure.

Ujiri said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda had heeded his call and was providing support and a “push” for sports.  In one year only, Kagame had built an incredible arena in the capital Kigali.

“We need to invest in sports, it should be the greatest ecosystem in the planet,” Ujiri said.

Responding to a question about how to get more women involved and whether women stood to benefit, Ujiri answered that putting women in leadership roles only made sense.

When he took over the Toronto Raptors in 2013 as executive vice president and general manager, there were no women at all, except for one secretary.

“And it really offended me…Women run our homes, they are incredible but when it comes to the workplace, we don’t want to give them that power to show their abilities, ‘Ujiri said.

“Now I have hired 15 women with my organization, and I think it’s important, they give us success. They make us make better decisions,” Ujiri said.

As a parting surprise, Ujiri announced that he had scouted two new players for the Raptors. Welcoming President Kagame and African Development Bank (AfDB.org) Akinwumi Adesina to the stage, he handed them red team gear with their names emblazoned on the back along with the number 19.

“They are going to be playing for the Raptors, I’m taking them back to Toronto with me,” Ujiri announced.

In earlier remarks, Ujiri thanked Kagame and Adesina for their support.

“We should be supporting teams in Africa…The talent in Africa is incredible, it’s like gold and diamond…we have to represent and believe in it.”

The Africa Investment Forum is a marketplace for project developers, investors, borrowers, lenders, policy makers and public- and private-sector investors to encourage investment in Africa. The 2019 edition, which ran from 11-13 November, closed Wednesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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Didier Drogba Chooses Ivory Coast Role Over Chelsea
November 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba says he turned down a coaching job at Chelsea because he wanted to work on football development in his home country.

According to Metro, Didier Drogba turned down the opportunity to become part of the coaching team at Stamford Bridge in order to run for the position of president of the Ivory Coast Football Federation.

The 41-year-old Chelsea legend, who retired as a player late last year, has been canvassing support for his bid to take charge of the federation and admitted in a meeting in Abidjan that he opted to go for the job instead of returning to west London.

‘I had an offer to stay at Chelsea where everything would be perfect and conditions are met, but I want to help Ivorian football because I love it!’ said the former Ivory Coast captain.

‘I am a leader, and my vision is bigger than just the simple role of being a coach.

‘A coach has an impact on a club – but I want to have an impact on an entire nation. I want us to re-think football, with a nationwide vision, so we can develop the game here.

‘The Ivory Coast has a glorious footballing past. The funds are in place, together with talent and potential, but they are under-exploited.

‘There are some very competent people in the Ivory Coast who can work with me on this project.’

*Source Chelsea

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Gambian Upbeat As Scorpions Open Afcon 2021 Campaign
November 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Coach Tom Saintfiet

Gambia Scorpions are back in contention for a place at the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2021 in Cameroon as they prepare for the opening of qualifying campaign when they face off Angola’s Palancas Negras on Wednesday 13th November, 2019 in Luanda.

Having named his final list of Scorpions Squad for both the away and home legs, Head Coach Tom Saintfiet is never short of confidence on his charges. “I think we have a strong squad, there are lot of choices for me as a coach to make. We have lot of good players, and I’m sure we will be ready to make it difficult for our opponents and gain some points”, he said shortly before flying out to Luanda.

The Belgian added though that he expect very difficult games but believe his team can cope with the pressure of being the underdogs. “We are playing out against two strong opponents Angola and DR Congo. We are 166 on the FIFA Ranking, Angola is 120 and DR Congo is 54″.

He said both teams are usual participants at the Afcon, however ” We have learnt a lot from our previous games against Angola and Djibouti because we saw some strength and qualities of our players”.

Reacting to Gambia’s home games, the ‘Saint” posited that the Scorpions deserve more hence ” we will be the favorites in Banjul and so we have to believe in ourselves and get something in Angola in the first and away leg although naturally they too will be the favorites to play at home”.

He said DR Congo game at home in the Gambia could be the Gambia’s best game to collect maximum points. The Belgian tactician noted that been underdogs in the Group does not mean that the Gambia cannot push further.

The game will be amongst a host of Qualifiers on the continent and the Gambia will open its campaign to Angola on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at the 11th November Stadium in Luanda at 20:00hrs (19:00hrs ) in Banjul.

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Gambia Ready to Shine at World Volleyball Competition
November 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Sainey Jawo and Mbye Babou Jarra are preparing to represent Gambia in their first ever world beach volleyball appearance when the FIVB (Federation of International Volleyball) World Tour one star commonly call Aspire beach volleyball cup competition serve off from November 12, through November 15th in Doha, Qatar.

With $5,000 in prize money, the Gambians will be facing one of the top class beach volleyball kings around the world, Qatar’s Cherif Younousse Samba and Ahmed Tijan will be the top-seeded team in November’s Aspire Beach Volleyball Cup as the host country pair is currently ranked 13th on the FIVB World Tour and ninth on the provisional Olympic ranking lists.

However these big names do not trouble the Gambian captain Sainey Jawo who believe they can shock the world as they did in Rabat.

“We have train so hard for this and we can make another history because we are hungry for more victories”  Jawo said.

“We are young and energetic, so we have all the opportunity to excel and become giant killers, so watch the space the tall lanky African Games gold winner,” he stated.

After the World Tour, the pair will also represent Gambia in the 2020 Olympics beach volleyball qualifiers when Banjul host the Pool B of Zone II qualifications later this month.

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AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Cameroon Head coach publishes list of 28 players
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

The head coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon Antonio Conceiçao has made public a list of 28 players that will represent Cameroon in their next outing in the qualifiers for the AFCON 2021.

Cameroon will face Cape Verde on the 13 of November 2019 and face Rwanda on the 17 of November 2019.

The list of players called up includes the usual suspects while Vincent Aboubakar is making his return back to the squad. The player missed Cameroon’s last outing which was a friendly encounter with their Tunisian counterpart due to injury. During that game in Tunisia, both sides ended goalless, in what was the first outing for the new head coach of the Cameroonian national team. 

Equally returning to the squad, though on the waiting list is Buea born Clinton Nji. The player has been having a renaissance in Russia after he signed for Dynamo Moscow. He scored his first goal for Dynamo on 27 October 2019, a late winner in a 1–0 victory over PFC CSKA Moscow.  

The Minister of Sports and Physical Education confirmed Portuguese born coach António Conceição da Silva Oliveira popularly known as Toni Conceição as Heach coach of the Indomitable Lions until the 2021 AFCON tournament. The former Portuguese International right back replaces Clarence Seedorf who was sacked after this year’s AFCON in Egypt.

The Portuguese who is having his first experience as a national team coach and the first in the African continent will be assisted by Ex-Cameroon internationals François Oman Biyik, Jacques Songo’o as goalkeeper coach and team Doctor Professor William Ngatchou.

GOALKEEPERS:
– Andre Onana-Ajax Amsterdam-Netherlands

Fabrice Ondoa-KV Ostende-Belgium

– Haschou Kerrido-CK Kamsar-Guinea

DEFENDERS:
– Jean Charles Castelleto-Stade Brestois – France

– Fai Collins Ngoran-Standard-Belgium

– Michael Ngadeu-Gent-Belgium

Ambroise Oyongo-Montpellier-France

– Jerome Onguene-RB Salzburg-Austria

– Dawa Joyskim-Mariupol-Ukraine

MIDFIELDERS:

– Pierre Kunde Malong-Mainz-Germany

– Djoum Arnaud-Al Read-Saudi Arabia

– Bombock Franck-Maritimo-Portugal

– Andre Franck Zambo-Villarreal-Spain

– Olinga Fabrice-Royal Mouscron-Belgium

FORWARDS:

– Toko Karl Ekambi-Villarreal-Spain

– Aboubakar Vincent-FC Porto-Portugal

– Moumie Ngamaleu-Young Boys-Switzerland

– Jean Pierre Nsame-Young Boys-Switzerland

– Didier Lamkel Ze-Antwerp-Belgium

– Ganago Ignatius-OGC Nice-France

– Bassogog Christian-Hernan Jianye-China

– Choupo-Moting-PSG-France

WAITING LIST:

– Moukoudi Harold – St Etienne – France

– Ntcham Olivier – Celtic – Ekosse

– Fuchs Jeando – Maccabi Haifa – Israel

– Njie Clinton – Dynamo Moscow – Russia

– Stephane Bahoken – SCO Angers – France

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Gambia:GFF Appoints Assistant Women’s Football Co-ordinator
October 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Veronic Malack

Former Gambia international female player Veronic Malack is the latest employee to join Football House as GFF Assistant Women’s Football Co-ordinator.

Vero a former Interior and Abuko United FC forward holds a Bachelor of Science in Management at the University of the Gambia where she graduated in 2018. She is also a Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma holder in Management Studies at the MDI, a career she pursued after completing her Senior Secondary School studies.

The Abuko native was among the cohort of National U-17 Women Scorpions that represented the Gambia at its first appearance at the FIFA U-17 Women’s Tournament in Azerbaijan 2012. After her retirement from active football, Vero pursued Coaching Course with the Gambia Football Federation where she bagged a “D” Licensing Course while also attending Intermediate Football Coaching Clinic with the GFF and a Technical Course for Coaches organized by the GNOC Olympic Solidarity.

As part of her roles as Assistant Women’s Football Coordinator, Veronic Malack would be amongst others responsible for the co-ordination of women’s football activities across the country. She will be working with her Colleague Sainey Sissohore Mboge.

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Gambia to organize National Volleyball Festival this weekend
October 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

 More than one hundred and fifty children between the ages of 8-14 years will converge at the independence stadium friendship hostel from November 1st through November 3rd to attend a 3 day volleyball camp organized under The Gambia Volleyball Federation (GVBF) with full financial and material support from Moobeta Foundation and Kevoc Volleyball club in Belgium with eight volleyball trainers from Belgium to conduct the training with support from local coaches from the Gambia.

The training will attract seven volleyball development centers across the Gambia with Farafenni, Banjul, Brikama and Serekunda East from the Dream Project whiles Old Jeshwang, Kassa Kunda and YMCA will also participate, making it the biggest ever volleyball festival in the Gambia.

This is one of the most important basic if you want to develop volleyball, the involvement of kids and mass participation says Bai Dodou Jallow President Gambia volleyball Federation.

 Jallow added: “This is also part of our efforts to regionalize volleyball in the Gambia and we believe this is the best way to start that passage’ that’s why we are bringing Farafenni in North Bank and Kassa Kunda in Kombo Central”

He explained that the objective of any Gambia Volleyball Federation development activity is to ultimately improve the volleyball experience of those who wish to play the game and promote it. Building the skills and capacities of the individuals responsible for providing this volleyball experience is therefore key to this objective.

GVBF development programmes cover a wide array of initiatives – from courses to build the skills of referees and coaches locally to the support of promotional activities to raise the profile of the game while enticing young people to play volleyball, Jallow stated.

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Gambia: GFF Effect Changes At Scorpions Back Room Staff
October 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Tom Mertens Scorpions Physio

As preparations intensify for the Scorpions ahead of the Gambia’s first and away leg to Angola in the start of Qualifiers for the Afcon 2021, the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) has announced an inclusion of a new Team Doctor and Physio that would now be working with the Senior National Team (Scorpions ) henceforth.

Tom Mertens 38 a Belgian national is the new Scorpions physiotherapist. Mertens is a Master in Science who specialized in manual therapy and sports physio. He worked for seven (7) years for the Belgian FA and has worked for more than ten years at the Belgian Olympic Committee as Physio of the National Hockey team; current World Cup Champions. He attended two Olympic Games; London 2012 and Rio 2016.

The Federation has further announced that the Scorpions will now have in their ranks a new Doctor in the person of  Dr. Landing Jarju who works at the Internal Medicine Department of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul. Dr. Jarju 30 is a young Gambian Medical Officer with a very good track record. He was formerly with the Home Based National Team (CHAN) that participated at the recently ended WAFU Cup of Nations 2019 in Thies.

The two new inclusions Mertens and Dr. Jarju will begin work with the Scorpions when the Gambia plays away to Angola in Luanda on the 13th November, 2019 at the start and first leg of the Scorpions Group D Afcon Qualifiers.

Landing Jarju Scorpions Doctor

The new change is geared towards the Federation’s quest to comply with CAF’s demand to having qualified medical practitioners with the National teams

This new development follows the appointment of Mr Alagi Sarr as Assistant Coach to Tom Saintfiet.

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Gambia:GFF, Africell Ink 3-Year Deal to Sponsor Super Nawettan
October 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Gambia Football Federation and Africell Company Limited on Tuesday 29th October, 2019 formerly launched a partnership deal for the sponsorship of the Super Nawettan (Zonals) Football Championship for the next three years. The event took place at Africell Head Office along Kairaba Avenue where the GSM giants unveiled the annual package for each edition of the next three tournaments.

Amongst others, Africell will provide a giant trophy for the winners, two sets of jerseys as well as D10, 000:00 for each participating zone, medals, administrative cost for the Organizing Committee and talk time credit for each registered player.

At the presentation of the items held on Tuesday, Senior Manager Corporate Affairs and Media Consultant, Musa Sise said the Gambia’s biggest mobile network is always pleased to partner with The Gambia Football Federation. “Africell and GFF have inked another partnership where we will sponsor the Super Nawettan 2019 and our sponsorship package will be three years,” he disclosed. Sise stated that as sponsors, Africell will provide the following:

  1. Two sets of jerseys for each team and D10,000:00 as preparatory fund
  2. Winners D200,000:00
  3. Runners Up D100,000:00
  4. 3rd Place Winners D50,000:00
  5. Medals and Trophies
  6. Organizing Committee D100,000:00 for admin cost
  7. Credit for each registered player D100:00
  8. Credit bonus for each registered player D100:00

Sise said the 2019 edition of the Super Nawettan will be the beginning of a three-year deal with the Federation where Africell will bankroll the running of “the most watched local football“. He said the Company has an excellent relationship with the GFF and for the interest of paying back to football and Gambian youths, Africell decides to come on board and hold onto its social cooperate responsibility. “Africell is not only about telecommunication but also about people and grassroots,” he further noted.

The Super Nawettan Organizing Committee Chairman Rtd. General Lang Tombong Tamba speaking on behalf of the GFF President commended Africell for the sponsorship.

He described Africell as the biggest GSM company and thus continue to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities. General Tamba, who also doubles as the Third Vice President of the GFF, promised a fair and entertaining tournament.

“Hardly have you seen such a competition with a huge investment price tag like this. Africell have always been in the forefront and I am highly convinced that this is a company that deserves the support of every Gambian,” he affirmed.

General Tamba said GFF and Africell have a long standing partnership dating back many years ago in football organization. He lauded the contribution of Africell in Gambian sports as large and praised the Company for always supporting football. “I can assure you that the Executive Committee of The Gambia Football Federation under the leadership of Lamin Kaba Bajo will continue to partner and work with Africell for the development of football in this country,” he noted.

Speaking on behalf of the zones, Badi Faye of Serekunda East described the gesture as incredible. “Every youth in this country is directly or indirectly benefiting from Africell.” He assured the sponsors and organizers of a violent free and entertaining tournament.

The tournament will kick off on Saturday 2nd November, 2019 with Serekunda East and Bakau opening the curtains at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

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Kenya:Gor Mahia shares spoil with DRC’s side
October 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Given their poor form while playing away from home, Gor Mahia, Kenyan Premier League representative in Caf Confederation cup is on the verge of being eliminated from the competition ahead of the second leg on Sunday, November 3, 2019.

The Kenyan champion on Sunday, October 27 was held in a 1-1 stalemate by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s DC Motema Pembe in the first leg played at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi.

Gor known as Kogalo took the lead in the 63rd minute via striker Gnamien Yikpe following marauding attacks at the opponent’s goal before the visitor restored the parity in the 71st minute through William Luezi. The player slotted home a rebound from a free-kick which Steven Pollack charges defense failed to deal with.

Gor Mahia Keeper David Mapigano saved his side from misery when he saved a penalty eight minutes after the equalizer following a handball by defender Charles Momanyi in the box. Momanyi was sent off and the home side remained one player less.

The defending Kenya Premier League champions started the game on a high not as the search of early goals intensifies but their forwards were wasteful in the mouth of the goal and at some scenarios their ferocious shots were saved by the Pembe’s custodian.

Kogalo will fly to Kinshasa next week needing a win or a draw of more than one goal to advance to the group stage for the third time in a row. The current Kenyan league leaders were dropped to the competition after they were bundled out of Caf Champions League by Algerian champions USM Algiers on aggregate of 6-1.

The 18th Kenyan champion went into today’s match after a triumphant victory over their local rivals Kariobangi Sharks whereas Motema Pembe was held in a 1-1 draw by local opponent Saint-Éloi Lupopo.

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Cameroon gains one spot in Latest FIFA Rankings
October 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Cameroon National squad still on 8th spot in Africa

The Cameroon National Football Team better known as the Indomitable Lions have gained one spot in the latest ranking released by World football governing body, FIFA.

According to the October classification, the indomitable lion moved up one spot from 53rd in the world during the September rankings to the 52nd position (1409 pints, 11 matches played according to FIFA) in the World. Cameroon has however failed to gain more spot in the African ranking as they remain stagnant. During the September ranking, Cameroon was placed 8th in Africa, a position they still hold in this latest ranking.

Despite having played just a single game in two months, Cameroon has been ranked ahead of the DRC and the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire amongst others. This might be a good omen for the news head-coach Antonio “Toni” Conceicao who separated on zero all tie with Tunisia in his first game in charge on October 12.

The narrow leap from 9th to 8th comes to cheer the fans of the indomitable Lions after they witnessed a continuous deep in Cameroon’s ranking from the porous AFCON tourney in Egypt, earlier this year, reports Kick442.com.

Algeria who won the 2019 edition of the Africa cup of Nations in Egypt in July has however failed to break the barrier of becoming the best team in Africa. The side is placed on the 3rd position, only behind the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia. Morocco is placed fourth, Egypt 6th, Ghana 7th, Cameroon 8th, DR Congo 9th and Ivory Coast rounding off the top 10 teams. Senegal who finished runner-up in the AFCON is only placed on the 20th spot. 

In the world, France has failed to topple Belgium of the top spot as the team stays second while Belgium still leads the rankings. Brazil is third, England fourth and Uruguay rounds off the top five teams. 

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Girls Football Festival Returns To Banjul
October 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

The drive to promote and encourage Women and girls to play football and stay in the beautiful game is increasingly gaining momentum as the Gambia Football Federation continues on its active grassroots development agenda.

GFF through its German football partnership program on 22nd  October brought together nearly one hundred and fifty girls from Six Lower Basic Schools in Banjul that converged at the King George the 5th (KG5) Mini Stadium at Half Die.

The festival returned to the capital city for the second time on the heels of a successful edition in 2018 that attracted the attention of both parents and the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE). Tuesday’s festival took the form of girls been reintroduced into basic football skills like shooting, passing, dribbling, ball control and other vital Techniques.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Gambia Football Federation (GFF) President Lamin Kaba Bajo congratulated the girls for been chosen by their respective schools to take part in the festival.

He reassured the girl of the Federation’s continues support to Women’s Football.  “I want to reassure Monica and the girls here that my Executive is very much particular about the development of Women’s Football. We will not relent in our efforts to develop football in the country and most particularly Women’s football” Mr Bajo noted.

 He advised the girls to play football while encouraging them to remain in the game hence its benefits.

“I encourage all of you to play football because with football there is a lot you can achieve. You can be professionals in the future and you can help yourself, your parents and your country”.

Program Coordinator Monica Staab said, she is delighted with the continues support from the Gambia Football Federation, particularly President Bajo.

“The GFF and President Bajo in particular have been very supportive to this program and because of the continuous, we are able to reached at this level”.

She also encouraged the girls to continue playing football while appealing to parents to allow their girls to play football.

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